Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Welcome to my blog!

John Wilkes best quality double rifle, 1914
.600 Nitro Express, 26 inch barrels, 15 1/2 pounds, extractor
It details the two passions in my life--double rifles and hunting in Africa. The blog will not be the gospel according to Cal--my ego is not that big. Rather, it will be a source of information on the two areas that excite me, and hopefully you, too.  Look to the navigation bar to see what is included here. Most importantly, contributions are welcomed. Send me as much stuff as you can--photos of your double rifles and/or game taken with them.

To introduce myself, I graduated high school in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts in 1973, went to college in Mass. (Greenfield, Fitchburg and UMass-Amherst), taught school for four years in Mass and Vermont and moved to Alaska in 1984. By the late eighties I developed in interest in double rifles and Africa. Interestingly, my first experience in African hunting literature was through my mother’s books (Bell and Hunter for two). She was an artist and the only books she could find with African animals was in the hunting books. And, during my junior year in high school, mom bought me the 1972 Guns and Ammo Annual. If you can find a copy, read a dozen articles on Africa and the big bore double rifles. At $ 3.95 It changed my life! I still have the issue today. It is bound in clear tape to hold it together and I still glance at it now as I did decades earlier.

Then, in the mid-1980s, I dated an art teacher at the high school I was working at in Anchorage. She had a copy of Safari: A Chronicle of Adventure by B. Bull. No doubt, one of the best books I have ever read. It gives a chronology of African hunting from the early 1800s to the 1980s. From there I was on a mission to sell my Winchester collection and acquire double rifles. I was bitten and had the fever!

So, that is where it all began for me. I have articles published in the Double Gun Journal, The Winchester Collector, Sports Afield, Dangerous Game  Hunting, and The African Hunter. I currently write The Cal on Doubles column for the AH and would encourage all of you to subscribe to this, the finest of the African hunting magazines. I currently shoot and hunt only with double rifles and own or have owned a .350 no2 Rigby, .450-400 3”, .450 no2, .500 bpe Holland Royal, .500 Nitro, 600 Nitro, .450 bpe, .500 bpe, 20-.577 light nitro, 8 bore, and 4 bore. I have hunted Africa 14 times, Australia 3, and Alaska since 1985.

Enjoy the site. Read, have fun, send me your double rifle and African photos, hunting and shooting experiences, reloading data, questions (I will try to answer or direct you to one who can), and general comments. Look to the navigation bar for areas in the site that interest you. I would love to add your double rifles and hunting experiences with double rifles to the site.

It has been great meeting and/or communicating with so many of you around the country and the world.

If you wish to contact me, email me at:   or post me at: HC 89n Box 397, Willow Alaska USA 99688 

Cheers, all.


Shooting vintage or modern rifles, hand loading ammunition, and hunting is potentially dangerous. The owner of this site and any and all contributers do not accept any liability for the information contained herein.

Consult a licensed gunsmith and have him examine your rifle before shooting. Have your ammunition loaded by a professional to the pressures your rifle was designed for.

Carry a comprehensive insurance policy for your flight, hunt, and medical care before embarking on a hunting trip. The owner and contributers do not have any control over international political situations. Use caution when traveling to any foreign country and consult the US State Department for suggestions and /or restrictions for international travel.